Build your own website. Do it yourself websites.

Welcome to the Harmel's Blog

We’re here to keep you up-to-date with all the latest happenings at the ranch, so come back often if you want to hear about how we’re doing here in the woods!

Share the love

You can show your appreciation for posts you find helpful or interesting by clicking one of the social icons at the end of each post – a little way of giving kudos to the author.

At the Ranch



Trophy Trout Fishing in Colorado
Located on the Western Slope at the confluence of Spring Creek, Beaver Creek and the Taylor River, Harmel’s Ranch Resort is ideally situated for guests to try their hand at trophy trout fishing in Colorado. All three rivers are fed by mountain streams that empty into larger reservoirs before tumbling down their respective canyons to reach our door step. The cold, clear waters bring with them trout in all sizes and shapes.

The ¾ mile stretch of water just outside your cabin door has quite a reputation — specifically; anglers call it “Rainbow Heaven” due to the number of rainbow trout just waiting to be caught. Folks have said it is twice the fishing at half the price of the Frying Pan (a famous fishing hole) near Aspen. As a guest of Harmel’s the fishing is FREE. If you aren’t staying, you may fish our stretch of the river for $100 per day.

In many places, the banks along our stretch of the river are easily accessible, with deep eddies and sluggish pools that draw in the trout. Anglers will love the pleasantly warm summer days and cool nights. If that isn’t enough, the river passes through gorgeous soaring rock walls and tumbles over boulders, gently soothing away the stress of everyday life. The scenery is enough to take your breath away, but it is the thrill of that tug on the line when a trophy trout rises to the fly that really gets the heart racing.

On a side note: The highest award by the Colorado Wildlife Commission, in our opinion, is the signature of Gold Medal status. This is defined as being able to produce 60 pounds of trout per surface acre, and at least twelve 14” or larger trout per surface acre. While we’ve looked into getting the designation (with our stocking program we are well qualified for this status), we decided not to pursue it for two reasons. First, it would mean curtailing all rafting activities on the water, and whitewater rafting is an integral part of the fun at Harmel’s. Second, we know we are already one step up from Gold Medal status, judging by the number of award winning fish that get pulled out every year. Our waters are Platinum!

Three times each summer, we stock the river with 100 trophy sized trout; generally around June 10, July 15, and August 15.  Each one of these fish weighs on average two to three pounds. In 2014 we stocked mostly rainbows, but one stocking consisted of more than 75 cutthroat. We also stock the trout pond with 500 rainbow trout at the beginning of the season.

If our stretch of the river isn’t enough, anglers can proceed up river. Just below the damn on the Taylor River is where some of the best trophy trout fishing in the state of Colorado happens. It’s not unusual for our guests to land a 30-inch rainbow or brown trout. On the flip side, anglers can head down stream towards Gunnison and the Blue Mesa Reservoir where Kokanee Salmon and Lake Trout grow to gigantic proportions. The largest Lake Trout (46 lbs 14.6 oz, 42.6 inches long) in Colorado history was caught there in 2002. And the largest Rainbow Trout, (19 lbs 10 oz, 34 inches) was caught just downstream from Blue Mesa in the Morrow Point Reservoir.

Harmel’s sits smack dab in the middle of all the best fishing spots in our neck of the woods. Our resort makes a great base to begin your exploration of the rivers and streams. Our comfortable cabins will help you relax after a long day on the river. The hot tub and sauna will help get the kinks out or try a relaxing massage. Then finish up the day with a gourmet meal and great drinks from the bar. Sip coffee or an aperitif on the deck that overlooks the river and listen to the water sing you to sleep....

Posted by Amie A. on 10/24/2014

Colorado Dude Ranch Vacations

A Colorado Dude Ranch vacation can be a unique experience for the whole family. Harmel’s Ranch Resort offers many different kinds of dude ranch experiences such as square dances, trail rides, overnight pack trips and much more.

Located near historic Crested Butte, Colorado, Harmel’s sits in a high mountain valley. The mild daytime and cool nighttime temperatures ensure an exceptionally wonderful way to escape the heat, and the hustle and bustle of the city.

Take your pick from a wide range of horseback activities … from a one hour, two hour or half day trail ride, to a full day wilderness ride; you can experience the beauty of the Gunnison National Forest on horseback here at Harmel’s. Ride alongside tumbling mountain creeks, listen to the wind sigh through the pines, and enjoy some of the best scenery on the planet.

Every ride is guided by our experienced wranglers. These young men and women all have CPR and First Aid training (because safety comes first) and they also have extensive horsemanship skills.  Our wranglers participated in activities like 4-H, gymkhana, English hunter/jumper, or even rodeo riding. Harmel’s has a string of 40 guest horses that are strong, patient and knowledgeable of the trails. Many guests return and request the same mount they had the previous year.

One of the best options to really enjoy both a great trail ride and a great night out is the overnight horseback riding pack trip. Pack-out with the wranglers three evenings per week and let them treat you to true luxury in the mountains. In your ride through the Gunnison National Forest, you might catch a glimpse of a bear, big horn sheep, deer or other furry critter (the most common being chipmunks). You’ll spend a night out at our High Country Camp, listen to the coyotes harmonize and enjoy a steak, potatoes, and cowboy beans cooked over a roaring campfire. The stars are so close and the sky so clear you can practically reach out and touch the constellations. You’ll enjoy songs and stories around the campfire before retiring to a canvas tent with cots, pillows and warm bedrolls (sleeping bags), each with its own freshly laundered lining. In the morning, you’ll wake up to fresh mountain air, cowboy coffee, bacon, eggs, taters and pancakes hot off the griddle, then ride back to the ranch after breakfast.

If you’ve never ridden a horse before or maybe it’s not your style, Harmel’s has two terrific options for you: horsemanship lessons or kickin’ back on a hayride.

HORSEMANSHIP LESSONS

  • Seven days a week, in the afternoon, we offer 45 minute horsemanship lessons.
  • These lessons are given by our very knowledgeable wranglers and are great confidence builders.

HAYRIDES

  • Every Tuesday and Friday evening, guests climb aboard the hay wagon pulled by our draft horses Mike & Molly, to enjoy some musical entertainment on a trip around the resort.
  • The ride ends at a roaring bon fire where you can roast some marshmallows, make s’mores, sing along with our nightly entertainment and enjoy the cool evening air.

To round out the whole dude ranch experience for the little buckaroos, there is the Junior Wrangler’s Program for kids ages 8 and up.  The kids learn to brush, feed, water, saddle, and mount the horses in morning, afternoon or all day sessions.  Click here to read more in our blog about the Junior Wrangler’s Program. 

If that isn’t enough, Harmel’s sits at the confluence of two streams, and offers some of the best fly fishing in Colorado. One of the largest rainbow trout in Colorado has been taken out of the river just a few miles east of the ranch.  There is so much to do for ev...

Posted by Amie A. on 09/16/2014

Horseback Riding in Colorado:
Junior Wranglers Program
Do you have kids that just can't get enough of horses?  Or do they love horses but don't know much about them?  Consider a vacation spot high in the Rocky Mountains where your kids can learn how to care for horses, as well as hit the trail for some great riding!

Harmel's Ranch Resort, a western guest ranch, is located just north of Gunnison, Colorado.  At 8,412 feet, tucked into a lovely mountain valley, the summer days are beautiful, with temperatures usually in the high 70s or low 80s - perfect weather for trail riding.  

The Junior Wrangler Program at Harmel’s is a comprehensive activity offered to kids ages 8 and up.  This program allows kids to get totally involved with horses. They meet up at the stables and are assigned a wrangler for their session. They’ll join the team to round up the horses, and then learn how to feed, groom, saddle and bridle their mounts.  Kids will learn stables dos and don’ts and proper procedures around horses from the highly skilled wranglers and riders at Harmel’s. Then the guests begin to arrive and your kids will help them saddle up. Next it’s on to a two hour trail ride through the high country in the Gunnison National Forest. Upon return to the stables, the kids will help unsaddle, water, and brush down the animals, as well as care for the tack.

If the kids are signed up for the all-day Junior Wranglers program, they will join the Harmel’s wranglers for a hearty buffet lunch in the dining room. There are full day and half day options. The half day options (morning or afternoon) allow kids to join their family for other plans, play in the outdoor heated pool, hop into the hot tub to relax, watch a movie at the “Rusty Spur” theater, take a fishing lesson, go hiking or climbing, whitewater rafting or more.

Junior Wranglers will learn plenty about horses and how to take care of them, and it is an experience they'll remember for the rest of their lives.
Posted by Amie A. on 08/14/2014

Colorado Outdoor Wedding Venue:
Harmel's Ranch Resort

We is located high up in the Colorado Rocky Mountains at 8,412 feet above sea level, in the SW region of the state. The ranch is just north of Gunnison and south of historic Crested Butte.  Our location gives us the advantage of having the best summertime weather imaginable with the norm being warm & sunny during the day and clear & cool in the evening.  If you're a star-gazer, you're in luck.  There are so many stars out at night it's difficult to pick out the Big Dipper!

Colorado Outdoor Wedding Venue: Harmel’s Ranch Resort

Harmel’s Ranch Resort is a hidden gem in the Elk Mountain Range of the Colorado Rockies. The pristine Taylor River bubbles gently through the resort grounds, the wind sighs through the pines, and the valley is cradled on all sides by the canyon walls and is surrounded by 1.6 million acres of the magnificent Gunnison National Forest. It is a beautiful ranch location for an outdoor summer wedding. Located just north of Gunnison and south of historic Crested Butte, Harmel’s has some of the best summer weather imaginable with the norm being warm and sunny during the day and clear and cool in the evening.

The ranch offers complete wedding services, from rehearsal dinner parties to the ceremony and reception. Our wedding and reception areas are located on the back side of the ranch surrounded by towering pines … the river’s musical song makes the most romantic backdrop for any occasion.

The family-friendly facilities are also an enticing way to get family and friends together to have some fun before or after the wedding. Harmel’s is famous for gold-medal quality fly fishing, fantastic Western saddle horseback rides, great hiking and biking, spectacular mountain climbing, exciting river rafting, and some of the best mountain scenery in the state. The heated pool, hot tub and sauna, and rec room are sure to be big favorites with adults and kids. The cabins and lodge were once part of an old ranch, and have been completely remodeled for sheer comfort, while still keeping the feel and flair of an old Colorado ranch.

Compared to big city pricing, Harmel’s is easy on the pocketbook. Fancy restaurants and resorts in places like Denver and Colorado Springs may charge as much as $75 to $100 (or more) a plate per person for elegant menus. Harmel’s serves buffet style, and depending on your menu choices (from mouthwatering steak and crab, to finger lickin’ barbecue chicken and ribs) the average cost per person is between $35 and $45, and you can eat until it’s all gone!

Harmel’s offers weddings starting in late May through June, then again from August through mid to late September. For more information, click through to our wedding information page.

Feel free to call us at 1.800.235.3402 or come and visit us at Harmel’s Ranch Resort, 6748 County Road 742, Almont, CO 81210 and see for yourself!

Posted by Amie A. on 07/18/2014

A Colorado Family Reunion Destination
Harmel’s Ranch Resort

Harmel's Ranch Resort is a family reunion paradise!  Our destination location in the gorgeous Taylor River Canyon sure is tough to beat.  We offer a myriad of activities from mild to wild so the entire family has an experience they'll never forget!

Looking for a family reunion destination in Colorado that will thrill every member of the family? Look no further than Harmel’s Ranch Resort.

Harmel’s is a hidden gem, located just north of Gunnison and south of historic Crested Butte, Colorado. Our location, nestled in a gorgeous valley high in the mountains, gives us the advantage of having the best summertime weather imaginable with the norm being warm and sunny during the day and clear and cool in the evening.

We offer a fun, exciting and adventurous dude ranch experience in the Colorado Rockies that family members will love. Situated in pristine Taylor River Canyon at the confluence of three rivers surrounded by 1.6 million acres of the magnificent Gunnison National Forest; Harmel's offers an  abundance of activities, from mild to wild.

Your adventurous family members can enjoy whitewater rafting on the Taylor River, world-class gold medal quality fly-fishing, horseback riding, fantastic hiking, rock climbing and more. Other family members may enjoy more relaxing activities, like lounging at the outdoor heated swimming pool, hot tub and sauna, getting a massage right here at the ranch, or simply reading a book while over-looking the Taylor River and the magnificent Rocky Mountains. The whole family will enjoy western gourmet meals and our special barbecues, hayrides and non-stop gorgeous scenery. Harmel’s is also able to create special meals and dining activities (like fish fry, steak fry and barbecue meals) for family reunion groups upon request.

The area around the resort is loaded with other fantastic things for your family reunion members to see and do including:

  • Horseback Riding - Our wranglers, including Foreman Bode “Doc” McKee, are proud to present the finest Western Saddle horses in the U.S.A. Trips are available for individuals and groups at all skill levels — beginners, intermediate and advanced riders.
  • Historic Gunnison - Shopping, dining, the Pioneer Museum, and so much more ... it’s all waiting for you in Gunnison.
  • Black Canyon of the Gunnison - Deeper and narrower than the Grand Canyon, the Black Canyon of the Gunnison is Colorado scenery at its best. Take the Morrow Point Boat ride into the canyon for a truly spectacular ride.
  • Historic Crested Butte - Shopping, dining, the Wildflower Festival, and more await you in Crested Butte. Take the lift to the top of the ski area and hike to the top of Mt. Crested Butte.  Zip line tours are also available on the mountain!
  • Blue Mesa Reservoir - For boating and water sports of all types, Blue Mesa Reservoir offers it all, including trophy pike and lake trout!
  • Tincup Cemetery - Divided into 4 sections — Protestant Knoll, Catholic Knoll, Jewish Knoll and Boot Hill Knoll  — Tin Cup Cemetery is a fascinating stroll. Read markers like “Black” Jack Cameron, whose grave is in the Boot Hill section. It reads “He drew 5 Aces.”

For a Colorado family reunion destination that can’t be beat, take a look at Harmel’s Ranch Resort. We’ll make sure very member of the family enjoys the stay.

Posted by Amie A. on 07/04/2014

Staying Informed while Traveling
Colorado Road Information
Well, parts of Colorado have received a tremendous amount of snow but we're all good up here in the high country. If you're traveling around the state here is a link that may help you determine the best route. Y'all be safe out there!
Posted by Amie A. on 12/05/2013

   
Subscribe to Feeds
 
Categories
 
Authors
 
Archives